THAYER -- Pictures of skeletal remains, probably unearthed by recent flooding along the banks of the Warm Fork River near Thayer, have been sent to Dr. Daniel Wescott an anthropologist with the University of Missouri at Columbia.
Thayer Police Chief David Bailey said Dr. Wescott looked at a picture of a jaw bone, teeth and skull. "He said the remains were probably of the Civil War era or older, and belonged to a male between 18-and 20-years old," Bailey said.
Tuesday, officers excavating at the site found a musket ball. "That made us think they were probably pretty old," Bailey said.
"Using this information and because of the musket ball found at the scene, the decision was made to stop excavation work and contact the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for further investigation," Bailey said.
He said DNR will be at the site where the remains were found sometime this week with an archaeological team. Bailey said at this point DNR will decide whether to excavate more or leave the site as it is.
The police chief said it became apparent the site was not a modern era crime scene and rather than disturb any further graves, work was halted.
"Even though we will probably never know who these people are, we still want to deal with their remains in a reverent and professional manner," he said.
"We ask that the public respect the resting place of these individuals. We also will remind anyone that the area is under surveillance and any trespassers will be fully prosecuted," Bailey said.